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REI’s Vivienne Long on purpose-driven marketing

The outdoors are having a moment. Following worldwide orders to stay inside at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many people now have a new appreciation for being in nature. Recreational Equipment Inc., better known as REI, is one of the leading outdoor equipment and apparel retailers in the U.S. and is seeing the trend continue into 2023.

REI’s Vivienne Long joins The Current Podcast to share the consumer behavior that has most intrigued her since taking the reins as chief marketing officer in 2021. Long also dives into the importance of providing shoppers with an engaging experience in physical stores —one they can’t get by shopping solely online — and how the brand’s values inspire its marketing strategy. 

“When I think about marketing strategy, it’s really living our values and being true to that value, and so it starts from inside the organization,” says Long. “Before we can ask members and customers to join us, we have to be taking the right actions. So, fundamentally, a marketing strategy is not something separate.”